An Israeli business news website reports that the nation plans to begin producing the Arrow 3 antimissile system even before an intercept test takes place.
The Arrow 3 system was successfully flight tested earlier this month, and a more challenging missile-intercept trial is planned to take place in a few weeks, according to the Israeli Globes news service.
Despite the lack of proven intercept capability to date, the Israeli military and the developer of the Arrow 3, Israel Aerospace Industries, are so certain the technology will perform as intended that they have chosen to move the antimissile system into production, Globes reported on Sunday. The website did not specify the source of that information, but elsewhere in the article cited defense ministry and industry sources.
If the results of intercept trials reveal any issues with the Arrow 3 technology, small changes to the system's software could prove sufficient to correct problems, according to Globes.
"In terms of the missile's national importance against threats, I do not think that there is anyone who doubts this program," said Boaz Levy, director of Israel Aerospace Industries' MLM Missile Division. "Given the constant warnings about the Iranian threat, the Arrow 3 provides us the best supplementary response."
Israel anticipates activating the long-range interceptor next year.
Unlike the deployed Arrow 2 interceptor, which uses an exploding warhead to destroy incoming missiles, the Arrow 3 is designed to use a kinetic-kill vehicle to disable threats outside the earth's atmosphere.